Community groups ignite connection and purpose
The flourishing Cambridge community owes much of its vibrancy to the clubs and groups that bring people together and encourage meaningful connections.
Cambridge is home to a large variety of organisations that foster a sense of belonging and bring people together. They cater to diverse interests and offer personal growth, philanthropic opportunities, and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals.
Whether you're a new resident or a long-time member of the community, joining these groups is an excellent way to make new friends, discover shared interests, and contribute to your local community.
Rotary Cambridge and Lions Club of Cambridge
Rotary Cambridge and Lions Club of Cambridge are well-established clubs that embody the strong and compassionate community spirit that makes Cambridge an exceptional place to live.
Rotary's "Service Above Self" motto focuses on humanitarian efforts and community service projects. This well-respected local group supports many community projects including, recently, the Garden Festival, Bookarama, Waipā Fun Run, Rotary Cambridge Urban Miners, the local fitness park on Thornton Road, a charity dinner, offering blood pressure checks, volunteering at the NZ Blood Service collections, and the Adventure Club.
The Lions Club of Cambridge embodies the spirit of service and generosity of our community-minded town. Their dedication to improving Cambridge's quality of life is inspiring.
The Lions Shed, located on Vogel Street, is a shining example of their commitment to giving back. They support local initiatives that promote health, the environment, and youth development by selling high-quality donated goods and items. Every purchase made at the Lions Shed goes directly back into our community, making a real difference in the lives of those around us. And let's not forget about the Trash 'N' Treasure Market!
For 25 years, the Lions Club of Cambridge has been organising this special monthly event that brings together residents and visitors to discover affordable treasures and unique knick-knacks.
Empowering lifelong learning for older residents
Three more community clubs that are worth mentioning are Rebus, U3A, and The Lyceum Club. The Rebus Club of Cambridge is for retirees who wish to keep minds active, expand interests and enjoy the conviviality of new friends and acquaintances. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Baptist Church, Queen Street, Cambridge at 9.45am. Similarly, U3A and the Lyceum Club are excellent places for members passionate about lifelong learning. They can participate in various interest groups, learn from experts in different fields, and form friendships with a diverse community of like-minded individuals who share their love for personal growth and knowledge.
Cambridge Community House
Cambridge Community House is a wonderful charity organisation passionate about fostering personal, family, and community wellbeing in Cambridge. They offer a variety of support services, from counselling to family-related assistance, budgeting guidance, and access to essential community resources.
Their dedication to being there for community members through the ups and downs of everyday life sets them apart. They always go the extra mile to ensure that children have school uniforms, job applicants have the support they need, and immediate food needs are met. As advocates, they collaborate with other organisations to provide their clients with the best care.
Supporting people with disabilities
Interlock is a registered charitable trust that was established in 2020. This amazing local organisation is dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities through sports and recreation. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly to create inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in various activities, fostering a sense of belonging and joy. Interlock has become a beacon of hope and inspiration in Cambridge due to its unwavering commitment to inclusivity. Through its programmes, Interlock helps people with disabilities to develop the confidence and skills they need to connect with their community. Another fantastic local initiative is Cambridge Riding for the Disabled, which is celebrating 40 years of providing therapeutic riding activities to the community.
Bringing the magic of Christmas to town
The Cambridge Christmas Festival team helps usher in the magical festive spirit that sweeps through our town every year. This dedicated group works tirelessly to organise various community events and celebrations, bringing joy to young and old alike during the holiday season. The Cambridge Christmas Festival has become a cherished tradition, fostering a sense of unity and warmth within the community. All funds raised by the Cambridge Christmas Festival go back into community initiatives.
Looking out for local families
Raising a child can be a challenging journey for parents and caregivers. However, our community is fortunate to have local organisations like the Cambridge Parents Centre, Cambridge Toy Library, Cambridge Lifeskills and Octopus for a Preemie that provide essential support.
For more than 30 years, the Cambridge Parents Centre has been a valuable resource for parents, offering a wealth of educational, resources, and support networks. Through a safe and supportive environment, the Cambridge Parents Centre installs confidence and capability in parents as they navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood, including providing pregnancy and childbirth guidance and support programmes. Whether you are a new parent seeking guidance or an experienced caregiver looking for new strategies, this organisation empowers you to make informed decisions for your family.
Another great initiative available locally is Space, where you and your baby can connect with other new parents and their babies. Each week you’ll explore parenting and children's development in a safe, facilitated environment, giving you and your baby the chance to make real connections during your baby's first year. Head to www.parentingplace.nz/courses/space for more information.
Next door to the Cambridge Parents Centre on Taylor Street is the Cambridge Toy Library, a not-for-profit community organisation run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. The toy Library offers a variety of toys, games and puzzles for borrowing, promoting sustainable and educational play experiences from birth to six years old. A range of toys for special needs children is also available.
Cambridge Lifeskills offers free counselling services for younger people in Cambridge via the 13 public schools – funded by our community and grants received.
The Octopus for a Preemie NZ Charitable Trust focuses on supporting parents with premature babies throughout New Zealand. This group of volunteers provides crocheted Octopals to premature baby in hospitals across the country, made using specific materials that can be safely washed at high temperatures. These Octopals are not toys but comforters and soothers for premature babies, providing tremendous benefits to babies and their families. Over 1600 Octopals handmade by 55 crocheters have been gifted to neonatal units across New Zealand.
The Gaslight Theatre
The arts are a beautiful way to unite people, and Cambridge is fortunate to have a vibrant local theatre scene. The Gaslight Theatre is a standout gem in this community, providing a platform for local talent to showcase their skills. From classical to contemporary productions, this theatre is a testament to the power of performing arts in uniting and fostering a sense of community pride.
A joy for crafts
For those who enjoy working with creative fibres, Taylormade is an excellent resource. This local crafts and sewing group brings together like-minded people to share their skills, ideas, and inspiration. Members collaborate on various projects, which promotes creativity and helps to build solid and meaningful friendships. Taylormade is not just about making beautiful items; it's about fostering a vibrant community spirit.
Cambridge Community Marae
Ngā Hau e Whā (the Cambridge Community Marae) is located within the iwi boundaries of Ngāti Korokī Kahukura, Ngāti Haua and Ngāti Wairere. It serves as a cultural and social centre for Māori and hosts various events, workshops, and celebrations to honour their heritage.
Citizens’ Advice Bureau, St John and Cambridge Fire Brigade
In addition to other essential support systems, the community benefits from St John, Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade, and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
Both St John and the fire brigade are committed to providing emergency response and healthcare services to the community in times of need. Both organisations exist locally because of the tireless efforts of volunteers.
The CAB guides individuals on their rights and obligations, empowering them to make informed decisions and take necessary actions. This free and independent service is available to all residents and aims to promote positive social change within communities and society. The CAB helps people access essential services and provides the necessary confidence and support to navigate various issues.